City launches campaign to educate tenants on new rent reform laws

Posted On Tue, October 22, 2019 By

Posted On Tue, October 22, 2019 By In Policy

Via CityRealty

In June, New York state lawmakers passed landmark legislation to strengthen rent and tenant protections. Hoping to clear up any ambiguity over the new laws, Mayor Bill de Blasio is launching an ad campaign and new website to help renters understand their rights as well as hold landlords responsible. Starting Monday, ads will be displayed across subway stations, bus stops, local newspapers, small businesses, and Link kiosks until Dec. 15.


Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants

“The State Legislature passed some of the most progressive rent reforms we’ve seen in decades, but if New Yorkers don’t know their rights, it will all be for nothing,” de Blasio said in a press release Monday. “This campaign will arm New Yorkers with the knowledge to fight harassment and stay in their homes.”

The State Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 aims to address the high costs of housing and the inequality that has stemmed from it by preventing landlords from deregulating apartments and from using loopholes to raise rents.

In 2017, the city passed a bill that guarantees legal representation for low-income residents who face eviction, becoming the first in the country to provide the right to counsel in housing cases. And in January, de Blasio signed an executive order to form the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT), as part of the city’s plan to bring, and maintain, more affordable housing in the city.


Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants

The office designed the new ad campaign, which highlights key policy changes and directs tenants to learn more by going to nyc.gov/tenantprotection. One of the advertisements makes clear that brokers cannot charge more than $20 for application fees.

Last month, the Department of State issued a set of guidelines to clear up any confusion over the new fee limit, after it was reported that some real estate brokers continued to charge more than $20 because the language of the bill did not specifically include them. The ad says to tell landlords: “Brokers can’t charge more than $20 and must itemize any fees.”

“In order to fully benefit from the Home Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, renters in New York City need to know about the protections they have and need to feel empowered to advocate for themselves,” Jackie Bray, the director of MOPT, said in a press release. “This campaign is designed to do just that.”

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